Dallas College Basketball Team Bonds While Fighting Hunger – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
North Texas Food Bank continues its partnership with Dallas College, bringing mobile pantries to seven locations. The two have a longstanding relationship that intensified at the beginning of the pandemic.
“We cared for thousands of people every week. There was such a need,” said Cathy Edwards, assistant dean of the student welfare network at Dallas College.
She was at Mountain View Campus this week, where the food line wasn’t as long as it had been in the past, but still there.
“People who used up their savings while unemployed now need to rebuild their savings. Unemployment is still very high. The cost of living is still very high,” said Lalia Solis, spokeswoman for the North Texas Food Bank.
“We definitely still need support in a lot of ways,” she said. “Whether you want to volunteer, donate money. Every dollar donated provides three meals to feed someone in our community or to donate non-perishable food.”
But on a bleak, cool, damp day, the mood was high. As coronavirus infections decline and people get vaccinated, volunteers are again welcomed to food banks and pantries.
“I enjoy being with my students again. We have the basketball team. They use their muscles,” Edwards smiled.
“I’ve got new people and it’s the first time we’ve done a team building thing and it’s great,” said LeRoi Phillips, the men’s basketball head coach at Mountain View. “When my boys got here and started looking at the faces of the people getting food, it’s a joy.”
However, players haven’t gone that far to see the need.
“I definitely understand what people go through,” said 19-year-old newbie basketball player Taven Jackel.
Jackel, an East Texas student, understands because he was in this situation.
“It can be embarrassing to ask for food because I definitely had to ask for help with eating. So I totally get it,” he said.
While Jackel lives alone, his family back home in East Texas and San Antonio supports him and he is grateful that he can rely on them.
“I am blessed to have food and to help people in need.”
Even on a dreary day where the need for food continues, there are signs of progress and steps in the right direction.
“I actually haven’t met all the guys. So it’s good to meet all the guys so we can bond now and be good for the next season,” smiled Jackel.
So many people are hoping for a better season.